Dan Le Batard got angrier than I’ve ever heard him during the local hour on 790 the Ticket in Miami on Thursday. The issue at-hand was that Dan interviewed Miami Herald journalist David Ovalle, who wrote a story about how a local woman was going to jail for 40 months after illegally performing surgery on a man’s penis and mangling it (please read the story as the full context is fascinating and also instructive).
Le Batard became incensed (audio directly above) when unnamed management at 790 the Ticket threatened to pull his show off the air if they kept talking about the story, and not about the Cubs [clarification: This was not said explicitly, but in the audio Le Batard’s co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner wondered aloud if this edict was in part because it was the morning after Game 7 of the World Series].
“This right now might go to the morning show or might go to music and stuff because we’ve got someone locally already doing what Mike was fearing nationally, which is threatening to yank us off the air if we play it and what I’m telling you is that I value thing more around here — and I love you guys, love you guys, and we’re in the morning now because of you guys… Nothing matters to me more than you don’t control what comes out of my mouth and we’ve got someone going crazy locally right now saying they’re gonna yank us off the air if we continue to talk about this and what I’m telling you right now is fire me. Not only never do that again but fire me now if you want to control me that way.”
“I don’t want to get up at 9 o’clock in the morning, man. I’m doing this for Miami and I’m doing this for 790 the Ticket. Yank me off the air now. Fire me now. Cancel my contract, NOW. You can have your money and you can have your 9 o’clock hour and I can get my sleep because this is infuriating. This isn’t even happening nationally — this is happening locally… you do not control what comes out of my mouth. You threatening to take me off the air because I’m talking about a story that was in the Miami Herald? Man, get the hell out of here.”
Le Batard continued:
“This is what my parents fled. You will not control this. No you will not. Money doesn’t matter to me. Man, I love you guys. I don’t want to be up at this hour and now you’re saying you’re gonna control what I say at this hour when I’m doing it for you? I’m doing it from 9 to 10 for you, man so that you can have our show. I did this show FOR FREE locally because of how much Miami matters to me. You have to be bleepin’ kidding man.”
Le Batard’s producer Mike Ryan said that the show got the green light from ESPN to re-air the interview on national radio; Le Batard said the only other time he’d ever been this angry with management was when a former president of ESPN attempted to meddle with the show while he was on the air — this was way back when Le Batard just hosted a radio show on Sunday mornings — and told him he could work somewhere else if he was dismayed about it.
It will be interesting to see if anything further comes of this. However unlikely it may be, if Le Batard actually gets pulled off the air in his hometown of Miami for discussing botched penis surgery that was covered in the local newspaper of record, that would be interesting to say the least.